Maryland Football Countdown: No. 73, J.D. Maarleveld


Nov 15, 2014; College Park, MD, USA; The Maryland Terrapins take the field prior to the game against the Michigan State Spartans at Byrd Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

With just 31 days until the Maryland opens the season on Sept. 5, TerrapinStationMD continues our series based on past Terrapins with J.D. Maarleveld. We’ll continue to look at the most talented and/or popular player to wear the number and analyze their time in College Park. If you think of a player that had a big impact and is also associated with that number, leave a comment below.

When it comes to offensive linemen, there’s been several top-notch players at the position that have come through College Park.

J.D. Maarleveld embarked on a difficult and rewarding journey to become a successful Terp.

The Jersey City native enrolled at Notre Dame as an offensive tackle after a successful high school career. However, in 1982 during his sophomore season, Maarleveld was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

While it’s primarily a cancer that is treatable, Maarleveld still faced an uphill battle to resume his football career.

Notre Dame coach Gerry Faust guaranteed Maarleveld that his spot on the football team would still be there when he was healthy enough to return. However, just one year later, Faust informed Maarleveld that his spot on the team was no longer available and advised the former St. Joseph of the Palisades High School star that he should transfer to a Division II school.

Following his denial from the Notre Dame program, Maarleveld ended up transferring to Maryland where he played during the 1984 and 1985 seasons. The New Jersey native won the Brian Piccolo Award in 1984, which is an ACC award for overcoming adversity.

As a senior in 1985, Maarleveld was a consensus All-American and was a member of the All-ACC First Team. He was also a part of a Maryland team that went 9-3 (6-0 ACC) and ended the season with a 35-18 victory over Syracuse in the Cherry Bowl.

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Maarleveld was one of six Terps to be selected in the 1986 NFL Draft. The cancer survivor was selected in the fifth round (112th overall) by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Of the six Maryland players that were drafted, Maarleveld was selected the highest.

The Jersey City native played for the Buccaneers in the 1986 and 1987 seasons, which included appearing in 14 games in 1986 and 11 games (three starts) in 1987. He was waived prior to the beginning of the 1988 campaign.

In 2004, Maarleveld was inducted into the University of Maryland Athletic Hall of Fame.

While his Maryland career was brief, Maarleveld fought through a ton of adversity to become an All-American and one of the top offensive linemen in the ACC during the 1985 season. He beat cancer then returned to form and didn’t let the Notre Dame situation derail his football career.

Maarleveld was a tenacious player that should go down as one of the great stories in Maryland history.

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